Saturday 23 September 2017

Killer of Irish jeweller shows no remorse, judge says

Murdered jeweller Dermot O'Toole and wife Bridget
Murdered jeweller Dermot O'Toole and wife Bridget

THE armed intruder who killed an Irishman as he came to the aid of his wife in their Melbourne jewellery store has shown no remorse for the crime, a judge has said.

Dermot O'Toole (64) died at his business premises, The Jewel Shed, in Hastings, Melbourne, in July of last year. He was fatally injured after going to the aid of his wife Bridget (63), who was first confronted by the knife-wielding robber, Gavin Perry (27).

Mr O'Toole is believed to be originally from Galway but emigrated to Australia with his wife Bridget before the birth of their three grown-up sons.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said today that Perry has had plenty of opportunity to show remorse after pleading guilty to the murder - but has not taken it.

"He could do what a lot of people do and actually express his remorse," she said.

"There are lots of ways for him to show genuine remorse."

The court was told that Perry had insisted he was innocent in phone calls to his girlfriend late last year.

Perry told the woman that police had nothing on him and could not even place him at the scene, prosecutor Mark Rochford QC said.

In one call, Perry said he was confident of being released from prison.

"They can't keep me in here forever ... I'm innocent," he said.

In later phone calls, after he had entered a guilty plea, Perry said that "he had to" because there were too many statements against him.

Defence barrister Julian McMahon said Perry was now isolated and had not received a visitor since October.

Perry was released from jail in early 2013, after serving four years of a six-year term for armed robbery offences.

While still on parole, Perry committed three armed robberies in six days - the final crime targeting the jewellery shop in Hastings on July 12, 2013.

Perry, who was high on the drug ice and brandishing a knife when he attacked, will be sentenced at a later date.

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